Unless you are well schooled in the art of decorating and design, we are all guilty of following trends and making faux pas that we later regret. Figuring out your decorating style is an evolving process. Knowing what mistakes to avoid now will help you live happily with your future decor choices.

Cut the clutter. Accessories should not dominate rather they should blend in with the room’s features. Sure you love a certain pattern, colour and style but too much of a well-loved accessory could turn a conversation piece into an eyesore. To avoid overpowering a room with dust-catching knick-knacks, follow the one out, one in rule. Before you bring in something new, make yourself get rid of something old first. And if it’s a kitschy better to leave it at the store than have it become garage sale material years later.

Comfort is key. Comfort should always be your goal for every room. This is your home, not a museum. Keep it clean and clutter-free but let your interests and character reveal themselves. Avoid the monotonous look of matching everything and try to mix up colours and patterns, no more than three, so that they complement each other.

Perimeter decorating. As for furniture placement the most common decorating mistake is to shove everything from couches to dressers against a wall so that you are left with a big cavernous middle. Pick one wall as the focal point and build out from it, ensuring you can move around the room easily yet still have it be cozy when you use it.

See the light. Lighting is often ignored or poorly thought out. Think of all that you will be doing in the space and how lighting can help create a mood, illuminate the task or help you see where you are going. Also, put everything on dimmers, if you can.

Right-sized. Proportion is a tricky concept to master. Measure a room’s dimensions and each of the furniture pieces that you plan to have occupy it. If it looks crowded, or too sparse, on paper so that there’s little open space left, or too much of it, chances are sizes are off kilter.